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The City of God – Augustine of Hippo
St. Augustine of hippo was a great man, he had deep spiritual insight into the Holy Scriptures. Never was a man more determined and fearless in the truth of the gospel. He wrote a book called the City of God. In this 22 volume book it was the defense of Christianity and it became the first great work to shape and define the mind of man during that age.
The story goes that the barbarian invaders stampeded across Europe. They were like herds of elephants that destroyed everything in their path. Rome was no longer able to defend itself, it collapsed and the gates of Rome fell. The eternal fell. Rome was plundered and the women were attacked, the wealthy were slaughtered, art was destroyed. The city was battered.
The world reacted in shock, and Christians found themselves being blamed. Constantine’s conversion made a big difference and 312. But it was 100 years later in the greatest city, empire in the world was no more.
Across the Mediterranean the world’s greatest theologian pondered the event. Augustine heard about the event. He wrote The city of God. He wrote about Rome being punished, not for her new faith but for her old sins and her immorality and corruption.
Augustine knew that he fell short also before his conversion. He knew Original Sin can be traced back to Adam and Eve, and that we inherited the sinful nature. He also knew that Jesus offered forgiveness, and Christ alone offers eternal salvation, that there is no other way, but the Christ.
He wrote that mankind is divided into two different types: Those who live according to man, and those who live according to God. These we call the two cities, the one predestined her reign eternally with God, and the other one condemned to eternal torment with Satan.
The heavenly city of God outshines role, Augustine wrote. There instead of victory is truth, instead of high rank of holiness, instead of pleasures of this life, his life eternity, joy unspeakable, with Christ Lord.